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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Aug 22, 2009 5:26am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Lady Vanishes seems to be under copyright

Copyright for pre-1945 British movies is often disputed.

In 1995 British law was changed from a 50 year copyright term for film to a life plus 70 years term judged on the last surviving credited author's (director, composer, writer, cinematographer) date of death. However, Schedule 1 of the Transitional sections of the Act still holds all copyyrights for films published before the commencement of the 1988 at the term they enjoyed under the 1956 Act (50 years). This was not repealed or altered by the 1995 act extending the copyright term for films protected under the 1988 act.

To further complicate things the US URAA copyright restorations had a number of very specific qualifications. To validate restoration a film has to have been published in the US more than 30 days after first publication in its country of origin and had to be held under valid copyright in its country of origin at the time that the relevant URAA legislation was enacted. This legislation had an effective date of 1 Jan 1996.

Carlton Film Distributors Ltd lodged a notice of intent to enforce (NIE) with the US copyright office in August 1997. The list of 100+ films included all of the Gaumont & Gainsborough Hitchcock films including "The Lady Vanishes". At that exact time, "The Lady Vanishes" and the other Hitchcock's were most definitely PD in the UK. Also "The Lady Vanishes" had its US release about a month before its UK premiere. (This is referenced in a number of books as well as IMBD and Wikipedia)

NIEs are not an indication of copyright restoration/ownership/protection. Copyright.gov states "the filing of an NIE indicates only that a party claims rights in a restored work, and does not represent a determination by the Copyright Office that this claim is valid."

So Carlton did lodge an NIE but US copyright protection for most UK films made prior to 1945-6 might not be enforcible under GATT/URAA restorations.

The Hitch movies have always been a bit odd for this sort of thing. Most sources suggest that the only reason they were ever thought PD in USA was because they had gone PD in the UK in the 70s and 80s.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2009-08-22 12:26:17

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Poster: elmagno Date: Apr 21, 2008 7:50pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Lady Vanishes seems to be under copyright

"Video-Cellar" is who?

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Apr 22, 2008 12:34am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Lady Vanishes seems to be under copyright

Video-Cellar is an Australian public domain film archive, dvd label and movie store. The person writing is Shane - the owner of The Video Cellar. I try to post stuff on IA when I get time.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2008-04-22 07:34:14

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